Some NHS managers have threatened to refuse treatment to patients who do not want electronic summary care records, according to doctors.
Patients, trying to use their right to opt out, have told Computerworld UK that during medical appointments they were warned of a potential threat to ongoing care.
The news has prompted anger from members of the medical community and a swift rebuttal by from Connecting for Health, which runs the troubled £12.7 billion National Programme for IT (NPfIT).
Connecting for Health said refusing treatment to patients who opted out was strictly against its instructions and ethics.
Despite this some GPs are saying there is “real pressure from above” in the NHS, to refuse treatment to patients who do not want to be part of the system. One GP said this “will probably end up in court” if patients, paying for the NHS through taxes, are refused care for opting out.
One patient told ComputerworldUK.com he felt forced into a decision he did not want to make - taking an electronic record so that he could continue to receive vital ongoing care.
Another said he had been refused care at several NHS surgeries, because he wanted to limit the amount of information being shared with hospitals and other practitioners. He was happy, however, with his GP accessing the records.